Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gluck - L'Innocenza Giustificata - Bayo, Moulds, Cappella Coloniensis







Technically speaking, this attractive and most enjoyable musical tableau is not strictly an `opera'. It is a `festa teatrale', differing from opera seria in having only two acts not three, in having little or no overt `action' and in steering clear of theStatue of Christoph Willibald Gluck at Musikverein. more harrowing emotions. The librettist is not known for a certainty, but it seems likely to have been Count Durazzo, a Genoese cultural attache at the imperial court in Vienna. The story is of a kind at which Gluck excelled - all statuesque marmoreal classical figures expressing dignified and edifying sentiments. As usual from Gluck irrationality, irrelevance and stagy operatic nonsense generally are sternly excluded. At his best, Gluck is hard to beat. He was not an accomplished composer in the technical sense as Handel, caustically pointed out averring that his own cook, a gifted singer called Walz, knew more counterpoint than Gluck did. Gluck's music depends entirely on inspiration, lacking the professional resourcefulness that almost any other composer of comparable stature would have thought indispensable, but when the inspiration is on him that never seems to to matter, and his unflinching rationality is always a dependable.


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